By Richard Reeve
Residents living on campus will not need to set their alarms to wake up Friday morning on Feb. 2.
Whether they care for it or not, their wake-up call will come at approximately 5:50 a.m. from a pack of men and women jogging and shouting out cadences.
Army ROTC cadets and commanders from BYU and UVSC will be jogging the streets of BYU campus at 5:30 a.m. for a physical training run, an Army-wide tradition. The purpose of the run is to build spirit among the cadets, according to ROTC members.
“It”s a lot of fun because it”s a team activity that builds unity,” said David Doutre, 22, a sophomore from Littleton, Colorado, majoring in political science. “This is a great chance to be loud and crazy college kids.”
“It”s a fun run,” said Charity Coe, 21, a senior from Lehi, Utah County, majoring in zoology. “In order to accommodate non-early risers, we do not call cadence in married student housing. But we always try to wake up the dorms.”
Annie Gill, 19, a sophomore from Norcross, Georgia, majoring in human biology and living in Helaman Halls, is not looking forward to ROTC”s morning run. “It sounds like a fun event but not when others are sleeping,” Gill said. “Hello, people running by your house at six in the morning? That”s not cool.”
Even to some cadets, running about five miles at the crack of dawn isn”t exactly their definition of fun either.
“It”s kind of tough to wake up that early because I like to sleep in,” Doultre said.
“I just tell them to suck it up and drive on,” said Erik Verhoef, assistant professor of military science.
ROTC cadets and commanders will assemble at the Smith Fieldhouse at 5:30 a.m. The battalion runs used to start by firing the George Q, the cannon used at BYU football games. However, Provo City has asked that the cannon not be fired due to noise ordinances.
From 5:30 a.m. to 5:40 a.m., the cadets and commanders stretch and get in formation. For the next hour they run and call cadence. Finally, from 6:40 a.m. to 6:50 a.m., Coe said runners stand in final formation and awards are given to the loudest and most motivated cadets.
“I respect them,” said Paul Mitchell, 23, a senior from Ring Gold, Georgia, majoring in international studies. “It requires a lot of discipline to get up and run that early in the morning.”
Cadences are a long-standing tradition in the Army. They are used to keep runners in step and so no one steps on the heels of the soldier in front of them. Coe said the cadences are also used to motivate soldiers.
Spectators of the runners have their own thoughts about the cadences.
“It”s fun to watch,” Mitchell said. “The cadences are really clever, and I think make a lot of us smile that are just walking by.”
Verhoef said he enjoys the early morning battalion runs.
“I love it,” he said. “It”s a great motivational activity.”